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Should Amazon Start Shopping for Diversity?

Amazon has a woman problem, according to The Guardian. The British newspaper said Amazon employs just 18 women among its 120 most senior managers, and none of them report directly to CEO Jeff Bezos.

Twelve male executives make up Amazon’s senior team, called the “S Team,” who report to Bezos. Citing a leak from an internal directory, the newspaper said members of the exclusive senior team are themselves reluctant to employ women.

Reports of Amazon’s glass ceiling is an embarrassment shared by other tech companies – after receiving criticism recently for having only one woman on its board of directors, Apple responded by revising its corporate charter to specifically say that it would actively seek out women and minorities for board seats in the future, according to the Verge.

African Americans are also missing from the top echelons of Silicon Valley and tech firms, and the Verge said the Reverend Jesse Jackson publicly called on them to do something about the issue last month. A press release on The Rainbow Coalition website noted:

“Tech powerhouses including Apple, EBay, Google, and new media companies like Twitter and Facebook – have ZERO Blacks on their Board of Directors. Black Enterprise magazine reported that 75 of the top 250 S&P 500 public companies do not have an African American on their Board of Directors.” Both Amazon and eBay were on Black Enterprise’s list of companies with no African Americans on the board.

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The Guardian gave Amazon a chance to respond to its findings and quoted the company, “We have many women in leadership roles across our global organisation, including two members of our board, and have recently been recognised by 2020 Women on Boards and ranked the number three employer by Woman Engineer Magazine.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.